US Magazine Sales in Further Decline

11 February 2009

SCHAUMBURG, Illinois: Sales of magazines via US newsstands fell by 11% year-on-year to 43.37 million in the second half of 2008, though total sales figures, including subscriptions, declined by less than 1%, reports the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Among the reasons cited for the decline in single sales, which followed on from a 1.3% slide in the first half of the year, were an increasing focus on subscriptions and the fact consumers were shopping less often, meaning they bought fewer print titles.

As previously reported, the number of ad pages in US consumer magazines declined by 11.7%, with leading industry figures, such as TV Guide's chairman/ceo Scott Crystal, urging publishers to forge new business models.

Women's titles and celebrity-focused publications were among the categories facing the toughest second half of last year, with US Weekly seeing single-copy sales fall by 21%, In Touch down by 32%, and Life & Style posting a 31% decline.

Among the other titles registering single-sales drop offs were O, The Oprah Magazine (–25%), Redbook (–33%), Woman's Day (–22%) and Ladies' Home Journal (down by over 40%).

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff